medical cannabis for chronic pain?
Some people find medical cannabis helpful for chronic pain, especially in the short term, but there are questions about long-term effectiveness and safety. Cannabis wasn’t recommended by Mayo Clinic when I attended their Pain Rehabilitation Center in 2018 nor is it recommended by the International Association for the Study of Pain.
A new systematic review and meta-analysis published November 28, 2022, in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests cannabis is no better at relieving pain than a placebo.
I have found I don’t need medicine or supplements to manage my chronic pain. Of course, your experience may differ. I know mine did earlier in my pain journey. My relief came by changing how I think about, feel about, and behave around my pain with pain rehabilitation using self-management.
Do you have back pain?
Back pain can be scary, especially when an MRI finds something abnormal. While they can seem scary, structural findings on a diagnostic scan don’t always equate with pain or are the cause of the pain.
Abnormal MRI findings are normal in people without pain, especially as age increases. Over 50% of 30-year-olds with no pain show signs of disk degeneration increasing up to 80% at age 50 (Brinjikji, et al, 2015).
And although chronic back pain is a common medical complaint, no specific cause is found in up to 85% of cases with central sensitization as a potential contributing factor (Sanzarello, et al, 2016) along with fear of pain and activity as maintaining factors.
Check out these back facts from OSullivan, et al, 2020:
Tom Bowen is a chronic pain patient who turned into an advocate, educator, and collaborator.